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Domonic Brown’s New Approach

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 17, 2013 09:05 AM Comments: 19

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Domonic Brown may be walking less, but he’s hitting the cover off the ball. Photo: AP

This past offseason, Ruben Amaro drew quite a bit of criticism when he told reporters that he didn’t value walks very much. The quote, taken from Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb, went like this:

“I don’t care about walks. I care about production. To be frank with you, I’ve said this all along. All of the sabermatricians and all of the people who think they know exactly what makes a good club… to me, it’s more about run production and being able to score runs and drive in runs.”

If you’re anything like me, you had a good laugh after reading that one (laughter to keep from crying). After that laughter subsided, though, I was left wondering how Amaro could say he doesn’t care about walks and then go on to say winning is about driving in runs, something that is made possible from teams getting baserunners, which sometimes come from–you guessed it!–guys getting walked. Logically, Amaro’s statement just didn’t add up. Continue reading Domonic Brown’s New Approach

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After Early Rally, Phils Bats go Silent In Loss

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, May 11, 2013 12:27 AM Comments: 5

Phillies Mets Baseball

The Phils were swingin’ well early. Unfortunately they forgot games are nine innings. (Photo: AP)

One pitch. That’s all it took for Mike Adams to serve up a line drive home run to Miguel Montero in the eighth inning of a 2-2 game. The bomb down the rightfield line would be the difference in tonight’s game, as the Phils dropped their second straight to Arizona and third straight overall losing.

In a lot of ways, the homer seemed inevitable. After the Phils started fast, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, the bats went cold. From riches to rags in an instant. And while the pitching did its part, desperately trying to nurse a one-run lead as it became apparent the offense had nothing more to contribute, the ominous feeling that eventually the bottom would drop out crept over the Phillies dugout. When Montero tagged Adams, destiny had been fulfilled. The Phils are now five games under .500 for the second time this season. After tonight’s 3-2 loss, they’ve lost three one run games in a row.

ROLLINS SPARKS THE BATS…BUT NOT FOR LONG

Jimmy Rollins jumpstarted the offense in a hurry tonight when he sent the first offering from Ian Kennedy over the wall in right center for his 44th career leadoff home run. It looked to be  the start of a big inning when Chase Utley hit one off the wall in center, but he was gunned down trying to stretch a double into a triple for the first out. The play seemed to sap a lot of the energy from the inning. However, the Phils would continue to battle, getting another run when Domonic Brown drove in Michael Young. It marked the first time the Phils managed two runs in the first since April 21. The good times would not last. Continue reading After Early Rally, Phils Bats go Silent In Loss

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Gameday: Phillies (16-20) at Diamondbacks (20-15)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 10, 2013 08:00 PM Comments: 11

kj8afwldb88t701vcvajwjgbpPhiladelphia Phillies (16-20) at Arizona Diamondbacks (20-15)

Tyler Cloyd (0-0, 0.00 ERA) v. Ian Kennedy (1-3, 5.19)

TIME: 9:40, Chase Field
TV:
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: Arizona
Media: Twitter and Facebook

After seemingly finding their stride in San Francisco, the Phillies once again stumbled, dropping the series opener to Arizona by a score of 2-1. Consistency has eluded the Phils so far. Whenever they seem like they’re about to get rolling, they find a way to lose a few games in a row, usually because the offense disappears again.

Tonight’s matchup will feature the 2013 debut of Tyler Cloyd, pitching in place of the inactive Roy Halladay. Cloyd made waves in the organization last season when he had a superb season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. However, he was underwhelming when he was called up in late August, starting six games and going 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA and a 5.25 FIP. The decision to give Cloyd the start was a curious one, as many with knowledge of the organization thought Adam Morgan would get the call. In six starts at Lehigh Valley this season, Cloyd has gone 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA. He did notch ten strikeouts in his last start, however.

Countering Cloyd will be Ian Kennedy. 2013 has been no picnic for Kennedy so far, and he seems like he may never rediscover the form that made him so dominant in 2011 when he won 21 games and finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. He has quite a bit of success against the Phils in his lifetime, going 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts.

Charlie Manuel has once again tinkered with his lineup, benching Delmon Young in lieu of John Mayberry and batting the struggling Carlos Ruiz fifth.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, M. Young 3B, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Mayberry RF, Revere CF, Cloyd P

Philadelphia Original LagerGAMEDAY BEER: Kona Brewing Co’s Longboard Island Lager

It’s a steamy one in Arizona, and a warm and humid day here in Philly. What better time to bust out a summertime beer. Tonight’s selection comes from the Kona Brewing Co., based in Hawaii. The Longboard Island Lager is a smooth beer with no abrasive tastes at all and an absence of hoppiness. It is slightly sweet with a hint of vanilla. Fire up some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and crack open one of these delightful brews.  – RD

GO PHILLIES

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Behind A Sensational Kendrick, Phils Beat Giants For Second Straight Night

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Wed, May 08, 2013 12:51 AM Comments: 20

Phillies Mets Baseball

Kyle Kendrick purses his lips for his haters during another brilliant start. (Photo: AP)

What a difference a flight out west makes.

When the Phillies arrived in San Francisco yesterday, they had been in a rut, dropping two straight to the lowly Miami Marlins, including an embarrassing 14-2 loss on Sunday. Now, for a second straight night, they got a dominant performance from their starting pitcher on the way to a victory. This time, Kyle Kendrick was the responsible party, easily dispatching the Giants lineup in a 6-2 victory that never seemed in doubt.

CYLE KENDRICK

Coming into tonight’s game, Kendrick led Phillies starters with a 2.43 ERA. Dating back to July 1, his ERA is a pristine 2.57. He’s been dubbed the team’s stopper–albeit with a tongue in cheek connotation–for a reason. He’s pitched like a true ace. Combine his recent run of success with his 1.89 career ERA when facing the Giants–his lowest against any National League opponent–and his final line would be no surprise: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. These stellar outings from Kendrick are becoming commonplace.

He was in control all night, rarely getting into trouble and finding a way out whenever he did. KK was particularly impressive in the fourth. After allowing two in the third, the fourth frame began with an ominous tone for the 28-year old. Buster Posey led off with a  single. That was followed by an error by Michael Young on a dead doubleplay ball. With two on, no outs, and a tight one-run ball game, Kendrick was in hot water. No matter. Pitching like a seasoned veteran with ice water in his veins, Kendrick calmly struck out the next two hitters before getting the third out on an easy groundball. Lord Kendrick giveth; Lord Kendrick taketh away.

Kendrick could have pitched the eighth, as he only threw 88 pitches through seven. However, he was lifted for a pinch hitter in the top half of the inning, capping another routine day for the lead horse in the Phillies rotation. Check out this nugget our own Corey Seidman tweeted about Kendrick: “His last 17 starts: 2.44 ERA, .217 opponents batting average, 14 quality starts.” Continue reading Behind A Sensational Kendrick, Phils Beat Giants For Second Straight Night

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Phillies Fry Fish

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 03, 2013 09:49 PM Comments: 44

Phillies Mets Baseball

Ryan Howard’s second inning home run started a Phillies power surge tonight. (Photo: AP)

Behind the steady pitching of Jonathan Pettibone, and a few home runs from the offense, the Phillies were able to make it two in a row with a 4-1 victory over the hapless Miami Marlins.

PETTIBONE: CONTINUED SUCCESS

In tonight’s Gameday, I predicted Pettibone would pitch through the sixth inning for the first time in his big league career. He did not disappoint. In fact, he turned in what is probably his best start yet. His final line: 6.1, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 SO.

Pettibone’s only hiccup came when he allowed a homer to Donovan Solano in the fourth. What was most impressive about his outing was his continued ability to prevent free passes. Coming into tonight’s game, he had walked just two in 10.1 innings pitch. It’s now two in 16.2 innings pitched. Not a bad number at all. The Phils needed Pettibone to be serviceable in place of the injured John Lannan, and he has done just that, turning in quality outings consistently.

HOWARD LEADS THE WAY FOR THE OFFENSE

Folks, Ryan Howard has begun to heat up. After a porous start where he didn’t hit much of anything, Howard had been marred in a stretch where he seemingly couldn’t hit anything but singles. That was before this current nine-game stretch. After his second inning home run to make it 1-0, Howard has now hit four homers and four doubles, including one tonight, in his last nine games. During that stretch, he was slugging .714. And that was before his two extra base hits in tonight’s game.

Chase Utley would keep the phone going when he lead off the third with another dinger, his sixth of the season.

As for Domonic Brown, he homered for the second time in two nights. Coming into tonight Brown had hit .353/.378/.588 with two homers and two homers in nine games. The sudden jolt of power in the middle of the lineup is a welcome sign for this Phillies club.

The Phils would tack on another run in the second in what may be the least probable scenario we’ll see all season. After Carlos Ruiz singled and stole second, Ben Revere, batting in the eight hole, drove him home with a liner to right to snap a 4-for-25 stretch. Revere would go 1-for-4 on the night, so he still continues to struggle.

BASTARDO STRUGGLES WITH CONTROL

In relief of Pettibone, Antonio Bastardo‘s command issues–something that has been an on again, off again issue for him throughout his career–once again reared their ugly head when he walked the first two hitters he faced to load the bases. He’d come back with the dominant stuff we know and love, however, striking out two hitters in a row to end the inning without any damage.

After a scoreless eighth and ninth, the Phils had themselves another victory. Enjoy your Friday night!

UP NEXT

The Phillies look to keep the win streak going tomorrow when Cole Hamels  (1-3, 4.78) takes on Jose Fernandez (0-2, 4.50).

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Gameday: Phillies (13-16) vs. Marlins (8-21)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 03, 2013 05:15 PM Comments: 16

Miami Marlins (8-21) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (13-16)

Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 3.82) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (1-0, 4.35)

TIME: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
TV:
Comcast SportsNet
Weather: 59, clear
Media: Twitter and Facebook

It’s not often that you’ll hear me say the Phillies need to sweep a team, especially in a four-game series. But after the debacle in Cleveland killed any momentum they had mounted, the Phils need to sweep the Stanton-less Fish. Not because it’s do or die, or anything like that. But because Miami is really, really bad. And four straight wins would put the Phils even at .500 going into a tough west coast swing. They got off to a good start last night with a 7-2 victory.

It’ll be on rookie Jonathan Pettibone to keep the trend going when he takes the ball tonight. In two starts, Pettibone has been more than adequate. The Phillies have won both of his starts, and he has struck out ten while walking just two in 10.1 IP. Against a light-hitting Miami team, expect Pettibone to make it through the sixth inning for the first time in his young career.

Opposing Pettibone will be the Marlins ace, Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco has been a bright spot for the Fish,and has accounted for 25% of their wins. In his first start against the Phillies last month, Nolasco pitched six innings of one-run baseball. For his career, Nolasco has a very impressive 2.98 ERA in seven starts at CBP. Keep an eye on Domonic Brown, who has a 1.444 career OPS against Nolasco in limited at-bats.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, M. Young 3B, Howard 1B, D. Young RF, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Revere CF, Pettibone P

beer_1221GAMEDAY BEER: Landshark

Typically I like to pick a craft beer for these, but the Marlins always remind me of Margaritaville’s Landshark. Partly because of the state of Florida and its tropical climate, but mainly because Landshark Stadium was the name of their former home in their last season there. Landshark is an Island Lager without a lot of flash. It is, in essence, a much-improved version of Corona. Easy on the eyes and even easier on the pallet, Landshark is a beer ideal for a lager fan looking for a quality beer without an overly complex taste. It will compliment literally anything you want to have to eat with it. – RD

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Exploring Revere’s Rocky Start

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 03, 2013 11:05 AM Comments: 9

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Things can’t get much worse for Ben Revere at the plate right now. Photo: AP

On December 6 of last year, the Phillies traded Vance Worley and top-prospect Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for an exciting, young, free-swinging centerfield with a proclivity for putting the ball in play, finding ways to get on base and, once on, creating havoc with his blazing speed.

As of this post, that player has yet to arrive in Philadelphia. Instead, the player the Phillies acquired has been a nightmare at the plate.

To say it has been a poor start for Ben Revere in Philadelphia would be putting it extremely mildly. Ask any Phillies fan how Revere has played through his first month in red pinstripes, and you’d be certain to hear a much more colorful description of his play.

Rightfully so. There are not enough negative superlatives in the English language to adequately describe Revere’s offensive output. Sure, he’s displayed his fantastic speed. The only problem is, he never gets to show it off because he is never on base.

His .245 OBP currently ranks 24th among the 26 qualifying centerfielders in baseball, and is nearly 100 points lower than the .333 mark he posted last season. His .471 OPS ranks 25th. So far this year, Revere has combined a complete lack of power with a complete inability to get on base. It’s a rare and costly combination.

Continue reading Exploring Revere’s Rocky Start

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Phils Mash Mets In Saturday Matinee

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, April 27, 2013 04:13 PM Comments: 56

The Big Piece can still dazzle us with his monster home runs. (PHOTO: AP)

The Phillies offense had the right amount of zen against the Mets today. (PHOTO: AP)

Behind the power of 12 hits, including back-to-back home runs, and stellar pitching from the bullpen, the Phillies slugged their way to an easy 9-4 victory over the Mets today. The win was their fifth straight at Citifield, and the first of rookie Jonathan Pettibone’s career.

PASSABLE PETTIBONE

- In his second career start, the 22-year old Pettibone wasn’t flawless, but he had the luxury of pitching with a lead, and he did a great job of limiting the damage through five innings.

- He started the game by putting two men on, first hitting Mike Baxter with an inside slider, and then walking Ruben Tejada. However, a timely 6-4-3 doubleplay–he’d get two of them on the day–and a strikeout of David Wright would allow Pettibone to escape the inning without any damage.

- The Mets broke through in the second after back-to-back, two-out doubles–one a line drive that glanced off the glove of Jimmy Rollins–made it 1-0. They put the pressure on Pettibone again in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. But, just like in the second, he limited the damage by allowing one run. He’d allow one more run in the fifth before being pulled from the game. Continue reading Phils Mash Mets In Saturday Matinee

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Gameday: Phillies (10-14) at Mets (10-11)

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, April 27, 2013 10:45 AM Comments: 42

new-york-mets-alternate-logo-2-primary_display_imagePhiladelphia Phillies (10-14) at New York Mets (10-11)

Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 3.38) vs. Shaun Marcum (0-0, 0.00)

TIME: 1:05, Citi Field
TV:
Fox
Weather: 66, mostly sunny
Media: Twitter and Facebook

With last night’s victory, the Phillies have now won 7 of 8 games against the Mets, including four straight on the road. The 4-0 win displayed a lot of positives for the Phils, if only for a night. Kyle Kendrick dazzled in throwing a complete game shutout, while Ryan Howard showed a little power, something fans have been waiting for him to do.

Howard may have an opportunity to continue his power display today, as he has gone 4-for-8 lifetime against Mets starter, Shaun Marcum. Three of those four hits have been home runs. Marcum is making his 2013 debut after spending time on the DL with a sore neck. Injuries have long been an issue for Marcum, who only started 21 games for the Brewers last year while plagued with an elbow injury. In five career starts against the Phillies, Marcum is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA.

Rookie Jonathan Pettibone will toe the rubber for the Phils. In his Major League debut, starting in place of the injured John Lannan, Pettibone impressed, throwing 5.1 innings, while allowing two runs and striking out six. The six strikeouts were the most for a Phillies starter in his MLB debut since Cole Hamels did it back in 2006.

Aside from Humberto Quintero starting in place of Erik Kratz, the Phillies lineup remains the same. That means Ben Revere is not starting for the third straight game.

Lineup: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Young 3B, Howard 1B, Brown LF, Mayberry CF, Nix RF, Quintero C, Pettibone P

Your gameday beer: Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale

Brooklyn Pennant AleFor my money, there is no better beer for a Spring day than a pale ale, and Sierra Nevada’s version of the classic brew delivers. It’s nothing more than a basic pale ale, but it has a rich, consistent hoppy flavor, while maintaining a refreshing quality often lost in stronger versions of the brew. It goes down easily, and is the perfect beer for someone just beginning to experiment with pale ales, or a seasoned drinker looking for a smooth beer on a beautiful afternoon. Complete your lunch with an open-faced Turkey Ruben sandwich.  –By RD

Go Phillies!

 

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Phillies Bats Go Missing In Loss To Cardinals

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Sat, April 20, 2013 09:58 PM Comments: 15

Cardinals Phillies Baseball

Cliff Lee didn’t look himself tonight (Photo: AP).

Cliff Lee was cold and the bats were colder. The recipe was toxic, and made for a long and boring night for the Phillies, who fell to the Cardinals 5-0. The loss dropped the Phillies to 7-11 on the season.

LEE LOOKS HUMAN

- As I wrote in tonight’s Gameday, no Phillies pitcher has instilled more confidence in the team than Cliff Lee so far this year. Tonight, however, he’d stumble for the first time in 2013.

- Lee had baserunners early and often, including walking three straight batters in a four-run third–something he had never done before in his career. The lack of control was uncharacteristic of Lee, and it really cost him in the inning. Though, Lee should only be held responsible for two of the runs, despite what the box score says. That’s because of a strange play involving Chase Utley. With two outs and runners on first and second,  Utley inexplicably went to his right on a ground ball hit to his left. There’s no telling why Utley got crossed up on the play, but it cost the team at least one run, and arguably two as the next hitter also singled to score the runner from third. When the inning was over, it was 4-0 Cardinals.
Continue reading Phillies Bats Go Missing In Loss To Cardinals

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